This is a serious question which I haven’t figured out yet, to wit, why do revolvers cost more than semi-auto handguns? It doesn’t make sense to me. In my experience, revolvers of a similar quality to the semi-autos I own (mid-range guns with good user reviews) sell for about twice the price.
In the first place, I have listened to countless explanations about how revolvers are more reliable than semi-autos because they are a simpler mechanism with fewer moving parts and therefore are far less prone to failures which are ‘common’ to semi-autos. If this is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, then the ‘simpler mechanism’ should translate into lower manufacturing costs and therefore lower retail prices, but it doesn’t.
Second, we have to consider the supply/demand question. In 2019 (the most recent year I found) revolvers accounted for only 16% of the US based manufacture of the two types. (I couldn’t find actual sales figures.) While that may seem to be an argument for ‘low supply=higher price’, I believe it actually means just the opposite. The difference in manufacturing output indicates that revolvers are in much lower demand than semi-autos and lower demand should translate to lower prices. Consider also that, in my experience, the gun dealers I shop with, both online and IRL, stock far fewer revolvers than semi-autos, which is another indicator of lower demand.
So why is it that a Ruger GP100 in .357mag/38sp, 3" or 4" barrel, retails for twice what a Ruger Security 9 goes for. The difference applies to MSRP as well, so it’s not just the retailers skewing the price.
One argument is that revolvers are ‘all steel’ as opposed most semi-autos are polymer framed to some degree. However, I’m seeing many revolvers being advertised as being made will alloy frames and other polymer components, so that argument no longer holds true.
Can anyone explain it to me? Please? I really want a revolver, but in my economic circumstances I just can’t justify the expense. Let me add that I’m not looking for a .22, or anything SAO, so the 'Wranglers" and SAA cowboy guns are right out.